Are you a soccer player still training during the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic? If you think about it, germs from the pitch and other players can get on your ball.
A well-used soccer ball can get pretty dirty. If you train on a turf field, the artificial pitch can make things even worse. So we’ve provided an updated video tutorial on how to clean AND disinfect your soccer ball. Follow the steps provided to protect yourself and others.
Part of our team spent Christmas and the conclusion of 2019 in Kenya for the Level The Field project. With your help, and the help of our friends from One Life, we hosted a tournament for boys and (for the first time ever) an inaugural tournament for girls. With 500 participants and 5,000 fans, the response was overwhelming.
In addition, we visited some of our water project investments in Rongo, which when fully completed, will provide clean-drinking water to 20,000+ people.
We’re Just Getting Started
As we continue our work to level the field, we were reminded of the power of soccer in communities like Rongo. By giving young girls the opportunity to participate for the first time in an organized tournament, we’ve demonstrated that they can operate outside of the traditional cultural norms and expectations. They can go to school, get an education, and be successful independently.With your continued investment we can help build a better future for the next generation of women in the community of Rongo, and beyond.
Ten-year-old Ben Stone has had the nickname “All-in Ben” for years, because of his intense passion for whatever his interest is at the moment. With his birthday just around the corner, his parents, Matt & Laura Stone tossed out the idea of hosting a traditional birthday party. However, Ben had other thoughts.
Channeling that “all-in” drive, Ben came up with the idea of doing a “color run” birthday event that would raise money to help kids around the world. Ben plays and loves the game of soccer. The thinking was to use his birthday event to raise money and give kids in disadvantaged situations new soccer balls.
Matt and Laura did some googling and came across Charity Ball—a soccer charity that does exactly what Ben had envisioned. It was a great fit. The fact that Charity Ball was created 9 years ago by a 10-year-old boy (like Ben) made it even better.
With the help of his parents, he set up a Charity Ball campaign fundraising page with a big goal of raising $2500. The Stones then sent out invitations and spread the word about Ben’s birthday color run with a link to his online page. Ben asked people to donate to his Charity Ball campaign in lieu of birthday gifts. The response was so overwhelming that the Stones increased the fundraising goal 2 more times.
After doing some research on how to organize an amateur color run, and mapping out a local neighborhood course, the big day finally arrived. When the kids showed up and registered, they received a sweatband and sunglasses for eye protection. Matt & Ben shared about Ben’s initial idea for the color run and also more details about Charity Ball. Everyone was reminded that this was a RUN and not a race—the winners are the kids around the world who will receive new soccer balls.
Color Run participants before running on the loop.
About 50 kids had a blast participating in the color run. Lots of parents stayed and volunteered to work one of the six color throwing stations on the 1 mile loop course.
Ben’s birthday color run raised an astonishing $4,335 which will provide 173 new, quality soccer balls to children around the world.
“We have been blown away by the individual number (over 100) of donors, and Ben is so excited about all the soccer balls that will be donated!” said Laura Stone.
It’s absolutely amazing the kind of impact kids can have when they decide to do something about the needs of others. Ben, we’re incredibly proud of you. Thanks for giving back. Thanks for inspiring us. Thanks for making kid’s lives, and the world more beautiful.
—Team Charity Ball
ps: Special thanks to all of you who rallied around Ben to make this event extra special in so many ways.
Over the past few months, Charity Balls have been hand -delivered to kids in Ethiopia, Kenya, Botswana, Mozambique, Uganda, and South Africa. We can’t thank you enough for your support and helping us make kid’s lives a little more beautiful. #MoreBeautiful
“You can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it.”
Ethan Oder and Jack Musial are two high school student-athletes that attend and play soccer for York High School in Elmhurst, IL. Because soccer has always been such a big part of their lives, they decided to use the game to give back.
Together, they were able to rally their high school community around their Charity Ball fundraising campaign. They began by printing out flyers and posting them around town to create awareness and spark interest. Then, they spoke with their high school soccer parents and campaigned for donations at the parent meeting.
Their original goal was to raise $2,500. However, they blew that goal out of the water and were able to secure a total $4186 for Charity Ball to give soccer balls to kids around the world.
I was able to speak with Ethan and Jack on what they had hoped to achieve from this project. Their response was, above all, they wanted to use their resources and efforts to give kids who love the game just as much, the same opportunity to enjoy the game with their own ball.
I personally want to say congratulations and thank you to Ethan, Jack, the York Dukes soccer team, and the community for caring and committing to action. As demonstrated with the financial amount raised, the sky is the limit when you put your shoulder into your goals.
When the time came for South Lakes High School (Reston, VA) sophomores Aria Kimiavi & Marcus Miles to decide on an idea for their MYP (Middle Year’s Project) it didn’t take long. That’s because their older brothers Bardia Kimiavi (Northwestern University) and Devin Miles (Catholic University) had organized the first Charity Video Game tournament at South Lakes three years earlier. “I remember Bardia being so excited he had found a charity that provides soccer balls to third world countries,” Aria said. Sports and gaming have long played a major role in these students’ lives, so they decided to continue the tradition with fellow sophomores and teammates Oliver Giaon, Andy Hurt, and Matthew Lature to raise over $500 for Charity Ball this past December.
“We have spent so much time together on the court, and also playing games off the court like 2k and FIFA over the years, that to think we could help others while doing what we love was too hard to pass up,” said Giaon; who along with Hurt, Lature, and Miles were part of an undefeated freshman basketball team last year. “Our school is truly built on a sense of community, and this event where we have gone from the youngest in the room, to now running it is a great example of that,” said Miles who also won a conference championship in football this year as the starting varsity quarterback.
For South Lakes High School teacher & Coach Jon McNamara who supervised the tournament, that family atmosphere is what pleases him most. “When former students who were part of organizing the first charity tournament like Spencer Alston (Yale) came back last week to visit, the charity tournament was one of the first things they ask about.” McNamara continued, “Being an IB school, one of the IB Learning Profile traits we try to instill in all students is caring. This year’s group of 5 students have shown that to their peers and teammates to great success on and off the court/field; and with the help of Charity Ball can now demonstrate that caring to the larger world—for kids who have not had the same opportunities and access to sports as them.” As the day ended, Giaon said three freshman came up to him hoping to learn the ropes and continue the tradition in 2019.
Thanks Andy, Bardia, Matthew, Marcus, and Oliver for using what you love to make a difference!
2018 has been a great year for soccer. The World Cup, Liverpool being at the top of the Premier League, and some of the coolest soccer cleat releases ever. Below are our top 10 picks of 2018.
#10 Adidas Glitch 2.0 Russian “World Cup Pack” This cleat is pure art. Adidas did a great job modeling the boot for the Russia World Cup. The red and blue match the colors of the host flag and the geometric patterns are a traditional Russian art technique.
#9 New Balance Furon 4.0 “Otruska” The fourth generation of the New Balance Furon is a simple, yet stunning cleat. The red glossy sole plate works really well with the white upper. Thumbs up!
#8 Nike Hypervenom Phantom Harry Kane “Keep It Kane” To celebrate Harry Kane’s 100th Premier League goal, Nike designed these sweet Hotspur boots. Production was limited to 100 pairs. Definitely a thing of beauty.
#7 Nike Superfly GS 360 Remake Made out of 100% recycled material, the GS 360s are the most innovative cleats for 2018. Designed to look like the original Superfly Green Speeds, (released in 2012) only 1500 pairs were produced.
#6 Adidas Predator Telstar Modeled after the 2018 World Cup Knockout Stage match ball, the Adidas Predator Telstar looks amazing. The red, black, white and gold color way is nice and clean just like ball itself.
#5 Nike x Kim Jones Mercurial Superfly VI These limited edition boots were inspired by the cheetah. The fastest land animal on the planet and a boot specifically designed for speed go hand and hand. Kim Jones and Nike nailed it.
#4 Nike Phantom Vision Jordan x PSG Black & red—it doesn’t get any better. These cleats came out of a collaboration between Jordan and PSG. Love to see more boots like these in the future.
#3 Adidas Glitch 18 “Nocturnal Skin” One of the most unique cleats of the year. The safari style pattern and the purple, pink and blue color way allows a player to stand out on the pitch. These boots were exclusively released in France, Germany and the United Kingdom.
#2 Nike x EA Sports Phantom Vision This is the 3rd iteration of the Nike EA Sports collaboration and it’s probably one of the best. The red, blue and gold work perfectly together. Nike even incorporated the buttons from the Playstation and Xbox controller patterns on the shoe. As fate would have it, the cleat was sold in limited supply.
#1 Nike Mercurial Vapor Luka Modric These cleats are insane. The color way is beautiful and the glassy design pattern is mesmerizing. It is unfortunate that Nike made only one pair just for just Luka Modric. One can only dream!
One of the most incredible weeks of my life without a doubt…
I had an absolutely unbelievable time in Russia. The experience was super humbling. It’s been awhile since my last personal soccer ball delivery, so traveling to Moscow during the 2018 World Cup was a refreshing and meaningful experience.
The ball recipients this time were beautiful kids living with Cancer, Down syndrome, and various forms of mental illness. We also spent time at a location outside of Moscow where the kids were either deaf or hearing impaired. Because they weren’t able to fully speak, their smiles and laughter said it all.
Every opportunity with Charity Ball is special. However, this delivery in particular was extraordinary. The vibes after each delivery were so surreal. It was like I was being lead to discover what life is really about. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routine and forget about everything outside your own personal world. But these deliveries served as a reminder to me that my concerns and interests are so trivial. There is a whole planet full of kids and people who are hurting and struggling to make it day-to-day. Our job, or my job at least, is to realize that they can be celebrated, helped, and empowered if I take the chance to get beyond my fleeting cognitive intentions and commit to action.
It’s World Cup season, and group play has almost wrapped up! Now is when things start to get interesting.
In two weeks time, I will be on a plane to Russia. But, I will not be there for the games. Instead, I will be partnering with Continental Tire to hand-deliver 200 custom soccer balls to disadvantaged kids in orphanage facilities. This project has been in the works for a few months now, so I am thrilled that it is finally coming to fruition.
I Need Your Help
In conjunction with my trip, I’ve launched a #ReasonToBelieve $25K fundraising campaign. The reality is that many kids who are Charity Ball recipients live in extreme poverty and often lack hope. However, the simple gift of a soccer ball plus clean drinking water can change their lives and give them a Reason To Believe that a better future is possible. This fundraiser will sponsor a Christmas soccer tournament for 500 kids and give clean drinking water to an additional 7,500 people in Kenya.
Here’s How You Can Help:
1.) Donate To My #ReasonToBelieve Campaign Here 2.) Help Promote the Campaign: Leverage your social media and/or your social influence. 3.) Spread The Word: If there are other people in your circle who have a heart for what we’re doing, we’d love to have them on board.